Wodonga Raider Jarrod Hodgkin entered rare territory in the modern era on Monday night, claiming the Morris Medal as a coach.
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It's extremely rare for a club mentor to claim the league's top award.
Former Albury mentor Chris Hyde won the 2017 Morris Medal, but wasn't co-coaching during that season.
Hodgkin finished joint runner-up in what was his first season back in the league after a stint in Melbourne.
Hodgkin polled 24 votes this time to edge out Albury livewire Elliott Powell (21) and Lavington ace Shaun Mannagh (18).
Mannagh was the hot tip, despite missing five games with VFL commitments.
However, it was the explosive Powell who bolted away in the first half of the season.
Powell grabbed five best on grounds in the first six games and had 18 votes by round nine.
Myrtleford's Lachie Dale, who claimed the league's Doug Strang Medal, trailed on 12 after four best on grounds.
Mannagh was next on nine from Myrtleford coach Jake Sharp, Wangaratta's Jake Richards and Wodonga Raiders' Brodie Filo, the reigning Morris medallist, on eight apiece.
Hodgkin (six) raced home in the second half of the year, polling in seven of the nine games, including four best on grounds from round 12.
With two rounds left, Hodgkin led on 21, with the pacy Powell a vote back.
Neither polled in round 17, with Powell's first vote in five games drawing the pair together.
However, Hodgkin's best on ground against North Albury sealed a thrilling win.
"I did a lot of work with the mental side of things, really putting a big focus on going into games 100 per cent with my body, my training and my mind," Hodgkin said.
I did a lot of work with the mental side of things ...focus on going into games 100 per cent.Jarrod Hodgkin
His uncle John Smith won in 1973.